On Tuesday current and former lawmakers will discuss the 20the anniversary of MinnesotaCare, the health-care program for low-income residents who don’t have other health insurance.
“MinnesotaCare/20th: A Celebration” will be held at the Minnesota History Center from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition to speaking about the program’s past, they will discuss its future in light of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Last year the program served an average of 148,000 people a month; funding comes from a state tax on Minnesota hospitals and health-care providers, federal Medicaid matching funds and enrollee premiums.
Among those expected at the anniversary celebration:
- Arne Carlson, governor at the time
- Duane Benson, former state Senator
- Linda Berglin, former state representative
- Nancy Feldman, CEO, UCare
- Lee Greenfield, former state representative
- Lucinda Jesson, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services
- Curtis Johnson, policy adviser and chief of staff to Gov. Carlson;
- Jim Koppel, deputy commissioner of health (appointed 2011); former executive director of CDF-MN; and staff to the Health Care Access Commission (1989—1991)
- Ann Wynia, emcee, former representative and former commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services
The event is hosted by the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. Amy Crawford, the group’s Regional Director, said:
“This landmark piece of legislation provided critical health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who had previously been caught in the health insurance dilemma – they earned too much for Medical Assistance but couldn’t afford coverage in the private market. MinnesotaCare contributed to Minnesota’s reputation as a national model for providing health care to its citizens.”